November 16, 2015 / Content Highlights

7:15am - 8:15am Private Breakfast Roundtable

The Partner of Transformation and Value Creation

Exclusive to Governing Body members and select CFO peers. 

Cy Wakeman
Author & Thought Leader
Reality-Based Leadership
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Fueled by technology, agile competitors and a shrinking global marketplace, the pace of change means organizations must evolve rapidly and assuredly to maintain a foothold. As managers of growth and partners of business transformation, CFOs who deeply understand the corporate strategic road map and align the finance function to this path are best positioned to influence organizational behavior and actions. Discover what financial leaders should do to influence outcomes, not just report results, and leverage financial insights for enterprise growth, customer success and metamorphosis within corporate leadership.

8:00am - 8:30am

Networking Break & General Registration

8:30am - 9:10am Opening Keynote

Reality-Based Leadership – Cut Through the Noise and Find Your CFO Voice

Keynote  sponsored by: Newmark Grubb Knight Frank

Cy Wakeman
Author & Thought Leader
Reality-Based Leadership
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Amidst the noise that technology executives face daily, one of the key challenges is to quickly see and radically assess the reality of a situation, conserve team energy, and use it to impact present circumstances. A great reality-based leader anticipates upcoming changes and capitalizes on the opportunities inherent in a situation without drama or defense. Cy Wakeman presents the principles of Reality-Based Leadership, a revolutionary look at how transforming an organization’s leadership competencies can drive success in profoundly changing times. Join Wakeman to learn why reality-based leaders should refuse to argue with reality, lead first, manage second and value action over opinion.

9:10am - 9:30am

Networking Break

9:30am - 10:20am Breakout Sessions

The Art and Science of Consumers

Featured Session 

Suzanne Powers
Global Chief Strategy Officer
McCann Worldgroup
Laura Simpson
Global Director, McCann Truth Central
McCann Worldgroup
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The prevalence of technology has created a more empowered and informed consumer within a globalized economy, offering more opportunities and challenges to businesses than ever before. Within this context, McCann Worldgroup’s Truth Central was born. Truth Central’s proprietary research seeks to constantly understand consumer behavior insights from across the globe on a macro level and identify the core truths that can and should shape consumer relationships with brands. Suzanne Powers and Laura Simpson share learnings from some of the top studies and a perspective on shaping business conditions to adapt in this ever-changing world.

The Power of a Purpose-Driven Organization

Featured Session  sponsored by: EY

Bita Yazdani
Senior Manager, Purpose-led Transformation
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Purpose is an unseen-yet-ever-present element that has a profound impact on an organization’s performance. When properly defined and infused within a business strategy, purpose influences every decision made. It attracts and retains the best employees, builds loyalty and trust with customers and increases returns for shareholders. Yet many companies struggle to clearly align and promote purpose. Join EY for actionable strategies to uncover the fundamental force that no competitor can replicate or replace, and ultimately, will allow your company to outperform the market.

Better, Stronger, Faster – Uniting Finance and Operations

Executive Boardroom  sponsored by: Tidemark

Kevin Rhodes
Christopher Springer
Chief Financial Officer
CMS Advisory Services
George Neal
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These days success in business is entirely relative to a company’s ability to translate data into action rapidly. Organizations that act faster than competitors, win. But in in many cases, operational business activity is not connected with the finance team’s view of the business. Learn how to equip your finance organization to play a more active role in improving performance and driving growth with a deeper, richer set of tools that provide better insight sooner. Join this discussion with George Neal for strategies to enable a continuous finance process that delivers real-time, up-to-date information to drive effective business decisions.

10:20am - 10:40am

Networking Break

10:40am - 11:30am Breakout Sessions

The Changing Landscape of Investor Relations

Featured Session 

Jason Armstrong
SVP, Investor Relations
Comcast Corporation
Michael Stefanski
SVP, Investor Relations
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Good investor relations are critical for any publicly traded company, and changes in corporate governance and securities regulations have created a world where investor relations can now be a differentiating factor in a company’s stock value. Effective communication with financial markets and investors provides insight to market perceptions on business value, and companies that effectively communicate with shareholders can experience higher market performance. Join investor relations officers as they share necessary messaging, targeting and business intelligence in shareholder communications to influence perceptions of future growth and drive returns for the company.

The Power of Healthcare as a Competitive Advantage

Featured Session  sponsored by: Towers Watson

Randall Abbott
Sr. Consultant & North American Leader for Health & Group Benefits
Towers Watson
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It’s a fiercely competitive environment for companies today — currency fluctuations and tax breaks can damage a balance sheet and technology creates opportunities for agile outmaneuvering, but simply put, culture is the ultimate trump card. A strong culture attracts passionate, loyal and dedicated people, and as employee demographics shift, an organization’s healthcare program is the linchpin for assessing its attractiveness. Towers Watson will share insight on the spectrum of approaches employers are deploying as U.S. healthcare reform presents unique challenges and opportunities. Learn how to create an attractive healthcare culture that is affordable and aligned with business needs.

Organic Growth vs. M&A – Strategies for an Ever-Changing Economy

Executive Boardroom  sponsored by: Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Michael Rispoli
Newmark Grubb Knight Frank
Doug Robinson
James Rourke
Managing Director, Mergers and Acquisitions Group
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
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2015 has seen record M&A growth, and with interest rates remaining low financial leaders are closely examining how a merger can benefit the company. What does the future of M&A look like as the economy buoys up and down? What are the latest trends in M&A strategies? Is it simply survival M&A in some cases? Is organic growth still a viable route? Come ready to share best practices and growth strategies in this candid boardroom discussion led by Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Hear how peers are pursuing growth to beat the odds and achieve an upward trajectory in their top and bottom lines.

11:30am - 11:50am

Networking Break

11:50am - 1:00pm Luncheon Keynote

The CFO’s Role in Cybersecurity


Marc Varner
McDonald's Corporation
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Direct communication when planning for IT security goes a long way. Engaging all members of senior leadership to assess enterprise risk management and reinforce the most critical aspects of security risks is crucial in lessening impacts from breaches. Having the right culture, people and processes in place are paramount in fortifying critical, intermingled assets. Prominent cybersecurity leader Marc Varner of McDonald’s Corporation shares his insights on security frameworks, cyber risks, and strategies for a successful CISO and CFO partnership.

1:00pm - 1:20pm

Networking Break

1:20pm - 2:10pm Breakout Sessions

WWE Network – A Case Study

Featured Session 

George Barrios
Chief Strategy & Financial Officer
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Content is king, and TV and digital media are the messengers. TV is often credited for the explosion of sports over the last few decades, and the significant investment in regional sports networks is testimony to TV’s power. Launching the WWE Network — the world’s first to offer 24/7 live streaming content — was a gamble. By completely changing its revenue stream, the WWE was betting on the future of entertainment. And that bet appears to be paying off. George Barrios shares the strategies behind the launch including opportunities for global growth, regionalization, content ownership and customization, fan engagement, and significant data mining opportunities.

The Talent Imperative

Featured Session  sponsored by: Aon Hewitt

Joanne Dahm
Co-President of Performance, Reward & Talent
Aon Hewitt
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Business leaders today face challenges brought on by economic, technological, demographic and social trends, and now, in a world where talent is scarce, business results are impacted even more. It is critical to engage talent for effective execution of organizational strategies and growth, but companies must rethink performance management from top to bottom. Join Joanne Dahm as she explores risks of the talent imperative, how companies are responding to global engagement levels, strategies to connect the generational mix with management practices, and why analytics are the answer to workforce planning.

How to Win Friends and Influence Boards

Executive Boardroom  sponsored by: EY

Martin S. Dorph
EVP, Finance & Information Technology
New York University
Michael Inglese
Aircastle Limited
Ann Yerger
Executive Director, Center for Board Matters
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Global risks, shifts in regulatory pressure and increasing activism facing corporate boards uniquely position CFOs to take on director roles. Boards face increasing challenges in overseeing an organization’s risk mitigation and management, while also dealing with a variety of evolving and complex challenges such as cybersecurity, disruptive new technologies and demands for greater accountability from investors. Positioned to be one of the most influential roles in the company, this session explores how CFOs can work cohesively with boards, common challenges boards face when interacting with management, and what it takes to be a valuable member of the board.

2:10pm - 2:20pm

Networking Break

2:20pm - 3:20pm Closing Keynote

A Look Into the Future


Viral Acharya
C.V. Starr Professor of Economics
New York University Stern School of Business
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Join Viral Acharya as he provides an update on the health of the global financial sector and discusses where future sources of vulnerability lie. In his presentation, Acharya shares up-to-date forecasting information on volatility, correlations and risk for a wide spectrum of assets. Hear real time evidence on market dynamics and where the United States, Europe and Asia measures in terms of systemic risk and vulnerability of a future crisis.

3:20pm - 4:00pm

Closing Reception